African Composers Edition

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Shoeshoe tsa Moshoeshoe

Shoeshoe tsa Moshoeshoe is one of several late songs by Mohapeloa that were apparently composed while he was teaching at the National Teachers’ Training College in Maseru after his retirement: 1979 is only an approximate composition date. Multiple copies of the manuscript were found in his former office, presumably because the work was sung by the NTTC choir. It is one of many songs that Mohapeloa wrote in praise of Lesotho’s founding father, 19th-century King Moshoeshoe I, whose legendary courage and wisdom provides a rich source of inspiration to modern Basotho. The text plays upon the relationship between Moshoeshoe’s name and the marigold flower, a metaphor for the political and socio-economic problems Lesotho faced in the years after Independence.

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